Biet Ghiorgis Church
Lalibela, Ethiopia. 13th Century


Biet Ghiorgis (Church of Saint George in Amharic) is one of the  eleven monolithic churches that compose the whole
settlement of Lalibela. It is believed that they were sent built by the King of
Lalibela during the XII century because he was aiming to recreate a ‘New
Jerusalem’. Biet Ghiorgis is inscribed in a 20 meter long and 12 meter deep rhomboidal
pit. It has a 12 meter long cruciform plan that isolate it from the terrain and
emphasizes its geometry.
As the other churches of Lalibela, Biet Ghiorgis is hewn from the living
rock of monolithic blocks forming both its primitive form and the details of
the doors, windows, etc. The church is connected with the rest of  the settlement through a set of tunnels,
excavating rooms and passageways.
Biet Ghiorgis (Iglesia de San  Jorge en Amhárico) es una de las once
iglesias monolíticas que componen el conjunto de Lalibela en Etiopia. Se cree
que fueron mandadas construir por el Rey de Lalibela durante el siglo XII quien
deseaba crear una ‘Nueva Jerusalén’. La iglesia de San Jorge está inscrita en
una fosa romboidal de 20 metros de lado y 12 metros de profundidad. Tiene una
planta cruciforme de 12 metros de lado que la separa del terreno y enfatiza la cruz
griega en planta. 
Al igual que el resto de las iglesias, están
talladas directamente en la tierra volcánica del lugar cincelando tanto su
forma primitiva como los detalles de las puertas, ventanas, etc. Biet Ghiorgis
se conecta con el resto del conjunto de Lalibela a través de un sistema de
túneles, salas excavadas y pasadizos.

Diagram showing how it is thought that was built

Photo by henrik berger jørgensen

Photo by David Samuel Santos

Photo by A. Davey
Cite: 
“Biet Ghiorgis Church”. Hidden Architecture
<http://hiddenarchitecture.blogspot.com.es>